Skip to main content

Strikes in Finland close ports

14 Mar 2024
An empty port
An empty port

On 11 March trade unions in Finland began a wave of strike action which has closed all cargo handling in Finnish ports and halted freight traffic on railways. The strike is currently intended to continue for two weeks.

The strikes are in protest at the most serious attack on workers' rights and social security in the history of the Finnish welfare state which have been launched by the right-wing government. The unions are fighting to defend the country's social model.

With the support of the employers, the government is attacking the social security system, and weakening job security. 

The government plans to start their massive reform package by restricting the right to strike in order to push through other cuts without the possibility of protest. 

Unions taking part in the action include the Industrial Union, the Public and Welfare Sectors Trade Union (JHL), the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union (AKT), the Electrical Workers’ Union, the Finnish Construction Trade Union, Service Union United (PAM), Trade union Pro, and ERTO. Other Finnish trade unions will be making donations to the strike funds and are expected to announce further measures separately.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused to citizens by the strikes. However, this is insignificant compared to what the government is doing. The Finnish Transport Workers' Union will use its strength to oppose the government's policy," said Ismo Kokko, AKT President and the President of the Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation (NTF).

ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton said: “There is a worrying trend among some governments to try and shore up their power by silencing the rights of working people. The right to strike must be protected by every union across the globe, given it is the last resort of workers to exercise their democratic rights.”

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said: “The ITF stands in solidarity with Finnish workers in their struggle against the current right-wing government. Unions saw off a similar attack in Argentina recently, and it is no less a threat when it comes from a part of the world that prides itself on its social democracy. Wherever the attacks on unions come from, the international trade union movement stands shoulder to shoulder in defiance.” 

Finnish trade unions are determined to win and have asked for international solidarity to put pressure on the Finnish government to back down.

Messages of support can be sent to

Post new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.